Poster D6, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Functional and structural characteristics of attentional networks predict attention and consciousness interactions
Ana B. Chica1, Michel Thiebaut de Schotten2, Paolo Bartolomeo2, Pedro M. Paz-Alonso3; 1University of Granada, 2CNRS U7225, Inserm U1127, 3BCBL, Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language
Attention is considered a necessary pre-requisite of conscious perception. Phasic alerting and exogenous spatial orienting improve conscious perception of near-threshold information, through fronto-striatal and fronto-parietal brain networks. In the present work, we combined data from fMRI and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography, to explore the influence of long-range white matter tracts (Superior Longitudinal Fasciculi branches I, II, and III) in the behavioral and functional interactions previously demonstrated between attentional systems and conscious perception. Results revealed that: (1) structural and functional characteristics of a left lateralized network predicted a more efficient use of phasic alerting signals to improve consciousness, and (2) structural and functional characteristics of a right lateralized fronto-parietal network predicted a more efficient use of orienting signals to improve consciousness. These results demonstrate that structural properties of the white matter organization determine the interactions between attention and consciousness.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial